Eco-friendly gifts for Christmas: 11 buys that are better for our planet

Shop these eco-friendly gifts if you're determined to ensure that this Christmas is your most ethical and environmentally friendly yet (and why wouldn't you?)

eco-friendly natural paper with ribbon by period living
(Image credit: Period Living)

The eco-friendly gifts in this guide are better for the environment, better for our health, and all look/taste/feel beautiful, depending on what they are. Whether you fancy gifting your loved ones sustainable homeware, personal items, or a delicious coffee subscription, there are lots of options to choose from. 

Christmas (and in particular Christmas gifts) can prove a challenge. This is where our sustainable Christmas gift guide comes into its own, proving that being conscious of your impact on the Earth doesn't have to mean gifting rubbish presents at Christmas.

Love this idea? Find more ways to have a sustainable Christmas.

Best eco-friendly candle for Christmas: Beefayre

(Image credit: Amazon)

1. Beefayre Winter Berries Large Scented Candle

best eco-friendly candle for Christmas: paraffin free and comes in recycled packaging

Specifications
Category: Home fragrance
Price range: Under £20
Best for: Anyone who loves home scents
Reasons to buy
+Rock-solid sustainable credentials+Beautiful packaging +Inexpensive
Reasons to avoid
-Gifting a scent can be difficult 

Why is it an eco-friendly gift?

Beefayre candles are about as ethical and sustainable as can be: they're made using only natural wax, no paraffin or beeswax, and natural fragrances and essential oils if you're concerned about strong smells. And the packaging is made from recycled glass. And the company give part of their profits to bee conservation. 

Who will it suit?

Who won't it suit, is the question? An easy-going, sweet smell of berries that's perfect for winter, this home fragrance will delight just about anyone (unless you know they don't use any fragrance at home at all).

Good to know

The company also make bath and body products and art prints, if you want to bulk out the gift a bit more.

recycled glass vases by LSA International

(Image credit: John Lewis & Partners)

2. LSA International recycled glass vases

The best recycled glass gift: very stylish and eco-friendly

Specifications
Category: Home decor
Price range : Under £50
Best for: Those who like cut flowers
Reasons to buy
+Beautiful designs+Recycled glass
Reasons to avoid
-The smaller ones are really quite small

Why is it an eco-friendly gift?

A sophisticated and beautifully designed gift, the recycled glass vases by LSA International are sustainably made and have gorgeous, unusual shapes that will look great as part of a contemporary decorating scheme. 

Who will it suit?

This is the perfect gift for those who favour a more contemporary or minimalist decorating style. Having said that, the design is universal enough to also look good in period properties with a more eclectic style. 

Good to know

LSA make several shapes in the recycled range, so you can mix and match, get the trio of mini vases, or get one larger one. There's also a terrarium, a planter, and a set of tumblers in the same range, all gorgeous.

Sweaty Betty recycled swimsuit

(Image credit: Sweaty Betty)

3. Sweaty Betty Wave Zip Through Swimsuit

The best eco-friendly Christmas gift for those for like swimming rather than running

Specifications
Category: Athleisure
Price range: Under £100
Best for: Swimmers
Reasons to buy
+Versatile design+Recycled fabric+Easy to find on the high street
Reasons to avoid
-Not all of the swimsuit is made from recycled material

Why is is an eco-friendly gift?

This swimsuit is made from 78 per cent Econyl, which in turn is made from discarded fishing nets. While other companies have been making them, it's wonderful to see a mainstream brand with a cult following like Sweaty Betty start making swimwear from this sustainable material.

Who will it suit?

Anyone who loves swimming. While it's true that holiday swimming probably won't happen until next year for most of us, there are spas, hotel swimming pools – so many settings where this sensibly designed swimsuit will be useful. 

Good to know

It's not completely recycled – elastane is used, and the lining material doesn't specify whether the nylon is recycled or not. However, as a compromise between a nice style and sustainability, this is pretty good. 

Pact coffee

(Image credit: Amazon)

4. Pact Coffee subscription

Specifications
Category: Food & Drink
Price range: Under £20
Best for: Coffee lovers, of course
Reasons to buy
+Fairtrade coffee+Good range of subscription options
Reasons to avoid
-Nothing!

Pact Coffee will wow coffee lovers with the quality of their beans – and with their Fairtrade credentials

Why is it an eco-friendly gift?

While Pact Coffee isn't certified organic, we like their philosophy: pay coffee growers more so that they have the time and resources to produce higher-quality coffee. Unlike mainstream brands, Pact invest into speciality coffee, which is produced under better conditions both for the environment and the worker.

Who will it suit?

All your friends/family who are coffee addicts. They will love not having to remember to get coffee, having it delivered to their door at the frequency they choose.

Good to know

Pact subscriptions include Nespresso-compatible pods as well as bags of ground coffee.

Umi. by Amazon Water Bottle

(Image credit: Amazon)

5. Umi. by Amazon Water Bottle

The best reusable bottle that's gift-worthy: just look at those shiny colours

Specifications
Category: Kitchen storage/personal items
Price range: Under £20
Best for: Everyone
Reasons to buy
+Plastic free+No paint+Thermos and bottle in one
Reasons to avoid
-Colours are a bit limited

This water bottle by Amazon epitomises the best in eco-friendly bottle design. It's both a bottle and thermal flask in one, so it retains heat as well as keeping water fresh and cool, so you can use it in lots of different ways – for tea, soup, and so on.

Why is it an eco-friendly gift?

This water bottle is made from stainless steel and can be reused thousands of times before it'll need replacing. They'll never need to buy a bottle of water again. 

Who will it suit?

Anyone – it's so stylish that it'll look equally good in a fancy handbag as it will in a rucksack. 

Good to know

This bottle doesn't use paint – instead, they've spray-coated it, making the finish more durable. We do wish they'd done a few more colours. 

Morgiana bamboo dinnerware set

(Image credit: Amazon)

6. Morgiana Bamboo Dinnerware Set

The best eco-friendly gift for picnic and birthday parties

Specifications
Category: Dinnerware
Price range: Under £50
Best for: Those who like picnics or outdoor parties
Reasons to buy
+Great design+Dishwasher safe
Reasons to avoid
-Bamboo isn't as durable as porcelain

Reduce the need for disposable plates with these beautifully designed dinnerware sets made from bamboo.

Why is it an eco-friendly gift?

Bamboo is a highly sustainable material, thanks to the fact that bamboo is so quick -growing. Disposable paper plates are often coated in plastic film, making them non-recyclable; these can be either hand-washed or put in the dishwasher. 

Who will it suit?

Anyone who likes throwing garden parties, going on picnics, or regularly hosts kids' parties. 

Good to know

While bamboo is much more durable than paper, it won't last forever; you also shouldn't put these plates in the microwave or oven. 

Seventex Healthy Towels

(Image credit: Amazon)

7. Seventex Healthy Towels

Best eco-friendly Christmas gift for the bathroom

Specifications
Category: Bathroom
Price range: Under £50
Best for: Those who prefer practical gifts
Reasons to buy
+Organic cotton+Gorgeous quality
Reasons to avoid
-Only two colour choices

We promise you that once your gift recipient tries out organic cotton towels, they'll never go back to regular towels.

Why is it an eco-friendly gift?

Organic cotton production uses up to 90 per cent water than that of regular cotton; it's made under better conditions for the workers, too, without polluting their land. And – organic cotton is kinder to skin, so is great for allergy and eczema sufferers.

Who will it suit?

Towels will never go waste whoever you gift them to, but if you know anyone who loves a bath, they'll appreciate these even more. 

Good to know

It's hard to go wrong with the grey/natural colour options, but we wish there were a couple more colours to choose from. 

sustainable home book from amazon

(Image credit: Amazon)

8. Sustainable Home book by Christine Liu

The best book about sustainability

Specifications
Category: Book
Price range: Under £20
Best for: book lovers
Reasons to buy
+Beautifully illustrated+Lots of practical tips and projects
Reasons to avoid
-Some sections are a bit long

Know someone who's keen to be more earth conscious in 2020? Inspire them to make positive life changes with this handy and pretty practical book.

Why is it an eco-friendly gift?

While the sustainability of printed books is debatable, the fact that this book is about living more sustainably in other ways compensates, in our opinion. Practical and helpful, this book is full of handy everyday tips for reducing your carbon footprint, eating more sustainably, and going plastic-free. 

Who will it suit?

Anyone interested in living sustainably will appreciate this book, but it's especially suitable for people who generally like to read.

Not all chocolate is made equal: sadly, most of the world's cocoa production is bad both for the environment and for the communities it's supposed to sustain. Fairtrade chocolate, on the other hand, strives to give cocoa producers better wages and working conditions (which also contributes to less intensive production methods). 

Organic cotton pyjamas

(Image credit: Etsy)

9. Organic cotton pyjamas

The best eco-friendly gift for lazy Sundays

Specifications
Category: Nightwear
Price range: Under £100
Best for: Those who like wearing loungewear
Reasons to buy
+Organic cotton+Beautiful prints
Reasons to avoid
-Can only buy on Etsy

A pyjama set is such a Christmas gift classic – there's literally no one who won't appreciate a new set. 

Why is it an eco-friendly set?

This pyjama set is handmade in the UK using 100% organic cotton. So, not only are you buying an item made from an eco-friendly material, but you're reducing the air miles of your purchase.

Who will it suit?

Who doesn't like pyjamas, especially when they're this soft?

Good to know

There are other prints and types available from the same maker, at a range of prices. 

Chantecaille Wild Pair gift set

(Image credit: Beauty Expert)

10. Chantecaille Wild Pairs set

The best eco-friendly makeup gift

Specifications
Category: Beauty
Price range : Under £100
Best for: Anyone who loves wearing makeup
Reasons to buy
+Amazing quality+Beautiful packaging+Donates to wildlife conservation
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive

Anyone who loves make-up will love you for giving them this set from Chantecaille.

Why is it an eco-friendly gift?

Chantecaille make high-quality, beautiful make up – the colours, textures, and the packaging are all to die for. They are also committed to helping wildlife: every time you purchase their limited edition make up, part of the profit goes towards wildlife conservation trusts. The Wild Pairs set contains a lipstick and a blush, and a gorgeous box. 

Who will it suit?

Anyone who like high-quality makeup – it doesn't get much better than this. 

Good to know 

You are only getting a blush and a lipstick in this set, so you might consider getting them something else as well. 

Tufted Tribal Handwoven Beige Rug

(Image credit: Wayfair)

11. Bloomsbury Market tribal rug

The best eco-friendly gift for the home

Specifications
Category: Homewares
Price range : £100-200
Best for: Eco-conscious home movers
Reasons to buy
+100% wool+Undyed and unbleached+Handmade
Reasons to avoid
-Will need moth protection

This gorgeous Tribal rug by the Bloomsbury Market has been handwoven in India. 

Why is it an eco-friendly gift?

Unlike machine-woven rugs that use polypropylene and dyed wool, this rug is as natural as can be: it's handmade by skilled artisans in India from unbleached and undyed wool, which is better for the environment and your health. 

Who will it suit?

Anyone who's been after a cream, Moroccan-style rug – this one is even better.

Good to know

Wool rugs are prone to being attacked by moths, so it will need regular vacuuming/cleaning.

More Christmas gift ideas: